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Make 2016 your best year ever for skills - learn new skills by training, or get your existing skills formally recognised by RPL.  We're here to help!

Our first newsletter this year has details of an exciting training partnership with Grain Growers plus some great opportunities for funded training
Thursday, February 04, 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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Farmer puts neck on the line for protest

Farmer puts neck on the line for protest

Feb 4 Daily Liberal

A 73-YEAR-OLD sixth generation farmer from the Coonamble area yesterday became the latest person to block access to the construction site of Santos' Leewood CSG waste water facility in the Pilliga forest .

Neil Kennedy locked himself by the neck to the front gate of the construction site, and was joined this morning by around 30 local and regional supporters.

His actions came as protesters opposing a coal seam gas wastewater plant in the area declared they aren't giving up their cause any time soon.

"I don't think it's right that Santos can build this waste water treatment plant, with all the risks involved, while a court case is still underway to sort out whether its approval without a proper environmental assessment was lawful or not," Mr Kennedy said.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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Protesters continue to block NSW CSG site

Protesters continue to block NSW CSG site

9 News 3 February 2016

Protesters opposing a coal seam gas wastewater plant in northern NSW aren't giving up their cause any time soon.

Around 30 anti-CSG demonstrators blocked access on Wednesday morning to the Santos Leewood Water treatment plant in the Pilliga forest south of Narrabri, which will support 850 CSG wells above the Great Artesian Basin.

Sixth-generation farmer Neil Kennedy from Coonamble has chained himself by the neck to the site's front gate, despite heavy rain turning the ground to mud.

"We're going to keep on protesting and doing what we can, fighting this thing," Mr Kennedy told AAP from a mobile phone.

The 73-year-old admitted he was "getting a bit old for this", but he doesn't want to see the land destroyed for future generations.

"I've got 13 grandchildren, and they're good little blokes and I'd like to think they've got a future out here," he said.


Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/02/03/13/05/protesters-continue-to-block-nsw-csg-site#J3zK3rJ5EerCduql.99
Tuesday, February 02, 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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Boggabri Meats: Ninety days to pay its way

Boggabri Meats: Ninety days to pay its way

By Marie Low Feb. 2, 2016, 2 p.m. Namoi Valley Independent

Boggabri’s butcher has been given an 11th hour reprieve by two locals concerned about the future of the town.

New Boggabri Meats manager Paul Higgins – who worked at the butcher’s under its previous ownership – said the men, who wanted to remain anonymous, had set an ultimatum the store had to make a profit within 90 days.

Boggabri Meats and the nearby Battler’s Cafe were both set to close last week due to lack of customers, despite thriving activity at the nearby mines.

Battler’s Cafe, run by Leah and Matthew Faulkner, has given up the battle.

But the butcher’s was doing brisk business yesterday as news filtered around town it was still open.

“These guys are guardian angels,” Mr Higgins said of the butcher’s new owners.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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Super cell storm wipes out cotton crops in north west New South Wales

Super cell storm wipes out cotton crops in north west New South Wales

Lisa Herbert ABC NSW Country Hour

Growers in north west New South Wales are still to assess the full extent of damage to their dryland cotton crops after a super cell storm on Friday, but early reports indicate substantial losses.

 

Significant damage has been reported in the Bellata and Millie areas, half way between Moree and Narrabri, with many crops expected to be written-off.

Agronomist Craig Lockhart said he was working between Edgeroi and Bellata about 11am on Friday when the storm ripped through.

He says he saw a number of houses with roofs ripped off following the storm.

Mr Lockhart says dryland cotton in the area was up to a metre high and had good yield potential, but that's no longer the case.

"It was probably up to my waist and now it's probably six inches high.

"It's like someone's put an old slasher straight across the top of it."

Click the header for more information


Monday, February 01, 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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Police cop a spray over ‘heavy’ duty handling

Police cop a spray over ‘heavy’ duty handling

Feb. 2, 2016, 8 p.m. Northern Daily Leader

POLICE have refused to comment on claims pepper spray was used to subdue a protester on Monday during a lock on at Santos’ Leewood facility in the Pilliga forest.


Two South Australian women, Kerri Tonkin and Cyd Fenwick, locked themselves to an excavator at 9am as part of a peaceful protest.

According to the group, police arrived at 9.40am, removed all other protesters and requested the women remove themselves.

A spokesperson for the protesters told The Leader one of the officers allegedly pepper sprayed Ms Tonkin at close range.

The group then claims Ms Tonkin was lifted and thrown over the arm of the excavator while her arm was still locked on.

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Monday, February 01, 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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We’re not alone claim: anti-csg stance

We’re not alone claim: anti-csg stance

Feb. 2, 2016, 8:30 p.m. Northern Daily Leader

ANTI-coal seam gas groups have hit back at claims the majority of people in the Narrabri Shire support Santos’ operations.

The Narrabri Chamber of Commerce told The Leader on Monday the “vast majority” of the shire was pro-Santos.

However, Lock The Gate and People For The Plains said their research showed the opposite.

People For The Plains spokeswoman Sarah Ciesiolka said they had conducted door-to-door community surveys.

Of those asked, 96 per cent of people were opposed to coal seam gas (CSG).

“The surveys have conclusively demonstrated Santos has no social licence to operate here,” Ms Ciesiolka said.

“Despite what Santos,  Yes2Gas and the Narrabri Chamber of Commerce would like people to believe, there is wide-scale community rejection of the CSG industry in North West NSW, and Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project in particular.”

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Monday, February 01, 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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Ngura: photographic aerial landscape exhibition of the central Australian desert

Ngura: photographic aerial landscape exhibition of the central Australian desert

Local Photographer Joshua J Smith recently exhibited in a Sydney Gallery

Joshua J. Smith set out in a small plane to capture the remarkable colours and textures of the land of the Anangu people in the central Australian desert.

If you're a passionate landscape photographer, it's a good idea to make friends with a pilot. That's just what Australian photographer Joshua J. Smith did in order to produce his latest series, Ngura. His first major solo exhibition, on now at Black Eye gallery in Sydney, features aerial landscape photographs of Anangu land in Australia's central desert.

"With my good mate and pilot, Joe, I set out from north-west NSW and flew inland with the idea of capturing Australia's unique landscape ... what we encountered was the spiritual and emotional legacy of an ancient natural terrain," Smith said.

These lands, which have been home and identity to the Anangu people for more than 40,000 years, are known as ''Ngura'' in Pitjantjatjara language, thus the title of the exhibition. The striking images show rugged landforms in earth tones – deep ochre, indigo, teal – as well as the brilliant oranges of desert sands.



Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/clique/ngura-photographic-aerial-landscape-exhibition-of-the-central-australian-desert-20160122-gmc8dn.html#ixzz3yt4lilF3 
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook
Sunday, January 31, 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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Congratulations to all Citizens of the year

Congratulations to all Citizens of the year

From Narrabri Shire Council

Congratulations to all the Citizen of the Year nominations. The winners were announced on Australia Day with the following receiving awards.

Young Citizen of the Year - Secondary - Gemma Ferguson

Gemma was nominated for her community contributions through groups and committees such as the Narrabri Youth Shack, involvement in events and various fund-raising activities. Gemma has significant academic achievements and was School Captain 2015.

Community Event of the Year - Narrabri High School Cambodia Group

The group was nominated for successfully raising close to $16,000 for the Tabitha Foundation Australia's House Building program in Cambodia which was able to build eight houses and donate funds to a school and orphanage in Cambodia.

Citizen of the Year - Shirley Pankhurst

Shirley was nominated for her involvement in various groups, she was named Life Member of the Newcastle Women’s Hockey Association, Life Member of the Wee Waa Garden Club and a Life Member of the Wee Waa & District Historical Society. Shirley is also a volunteer for HACC (Home and Community Care).

Well done to everyone!

Sunday, January 31, 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (979)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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How to lose $425m in three months: bet on Santos

How to lose $425m in three months: bet on Santos

Simon Evans SMH

Ouch. Chinese private equity fund Hony Capital is down $425 million on its investment in ailing Santos.

The oil price has plunged a further 40 per cent since Hony came to the rescue in early November 2015, as part of the temporary fix to the Santos balance sheet, which also included a rights issue, a cut in dividends, and big cost reductions.

Hony, through its quaintly named investment vehicles United Faith Ventures and Robust Nation, holds 9.81 per cent of Santos.

It will soon find itself free of restrictions three months from November 9, 2015 prevented it moving 9.9 per cent under the original agreement to become a cornerstone shareholder.



Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/how-to-lose-425m-in-three-months-bet-on-santos-20160127-gmev9l.html#ixzz3yt3AXB4o 
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook
Sunday, January 31, 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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Sero-X on track for September release

Sero-X on track for September release

By RUTH CASKEY The Land Newspaper

A BUTTERFLY pea biopesticide developed by Wee Waa-based business Innovate Ag will be released for commercial use in September following the recent approval of its active constituent.

Sero-X has passed the biggest hurdle in its approval stage, with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority approving butterfly pea extract in December.

​Innovate Ag project director Nick Watts said the approval of the active constituent took time as APVMA hadn’t assessed a similar product in the past.

“An active constituent is normally a single compound chemical, so we had to create a new standard for a new active constituent, which is Clitoria ternatea (butterfly pea) extract, and develop the whole data package required to register it.”

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Sunday, January 31, 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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Australian coal seam gas protest

Australian coal seam gas protest

BBC News report on the Pilliga

28 January 2016 Last updated at 02:44 GMT

It's a natural gas that supporters say could power another resources boom in Australia.

Coal seam gas is found in coal deposits and it has supplied 90% of domestic gas in the state of Queensland for the past two decades.

But activists want to stop exploration in neighbouring New South Wales because they say it is an environmental catastrophe.

The BBC's Phil Mercer went to a huge protest near the farming town of Narrabri.


Click heading for video from the BBC.

Sunday, January 31, 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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KNITTING NANNAS READY FOR FIGHT FURTHER SOUTH

KNITTING NANNAS READY FOR FIGHT FURTHER SOUTH

Sam Burbury reporting for NBN News

After ridding the Northern Rivers of coal seam gas mining, protestors have shifted focus.

They’ve now set their sights on Santos’ Pilliga CSG operations, while also lending a hand to campaigners overseas.

Click heading to view NBN News story

Sunday, January 31, 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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Narrabri ‘is sick of CSG protesters’

Narrabri ‘is sick of CSG protesters’

Jamieson Murphy Feb. 1, 2016, 10 p.m Northern Daily Leader

NARRABRI is sick of out-of-town coal seam gas protesters speaking on behalf of their community, according to the local chamber of commerce.

Chamber president Russell Stewart said the “vast majority” of Narrabri Shire was pro-Santos – and they’re sick to death of fly-in, fly-out protesters purporting to represent local interests.

“We are sick and tired of people travelling in, annoying us, getting on the television and telling the world what we think,” Mr Stewart said.

Click heading to read full article and comments

Sunday, January 31, 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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RURAL WOMEN’S AWARD NAMES LOCAL FINALIST

RURAL WOMEN’S AWARD NAMES LOCAL FINALIST

Fiona Mead named as a finalist in the NSW-ACT Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women's Award

Congratulations to Narrabri local Fiona Mead who has been named as a finalist in the 2016 NSW-ACT Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women's Award.


Fiona Mead has been recognised for her dedication to improving our primary industries and rural communities, and named as a finalist in this year’s Rural Women’s Award, each applicant submitted a project initiative as part of the award, aiming to drive regional communities and primary industries’ growth and prosperity.


Fiona’s project ‘Rural New Generation Project’ aims to introduce younger farmers onto the land by providing ideas on innovative pathways into farming.

“It will assist emerging farmers to acquire knowledge that will ensure they have the tools and skills required to move into agricultural enterprises.

The award identifies and supports emerging women leaders who have the desire, commitment and leadership potential to make a greater contribution to our local area.

The overall four finalists for 2016 are Sophie Hansen from Orange, Fiona Mead from Narrabri, Aimee Snowden from Tocumwal and Hannah Wandel from Kingston ACT.

The winner will be announced in 8 March at Parliament House in Sydney, and will receive a bursary of $10,000 and participate in an Australian Institute of Company Directors’ course.

The three finalists will receive a $1000 NSW Department of Primary Industries Leadership Bursary for skills and leadership development.

The award provides financial assistance, mentoring, resources and peer support via a nation-wide network of dynamic business and community leaders through the award alumni.

The NSW-ACT winner will compete for the National RIRDC Rural Women’s Award on 12 October&am

Thursday, January 28, 2016/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (3245)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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